I have been negligent about updating this web site. So, finally here is another letter from Jimmie Lee Collester.
This letter is postmarked August 14, 1954. It is a noticeably longer letter than any past ones thus far. So he must have been feeling a bit better.
I found one thing amusing; He writes out the “Ten General Orders” he is supposed to memorize in Basic Training, yet he actually gives us Eleven orders! I don’t know if this was a little trick the Army was pulling on him or if he merely didn’t realize he was given 11 orders to follow. By the way, I believe these General Orders still are followed exactly the same today, though each branch has slightly different wording.
Fri. Aug 13, 1954
Dear Mom, Dad, Tiny & all,
I’d like you to write now as I guess I’m as used to this place as I’ll get. I sure miss home, but I try not to think about it.
I hope everybody is well there & at Bishop. The Physical training is rough, but so is the whole works, for that matter. In about four weeks, we get a week end pass after a program
that is put on by us. Norm told me about it. Have you seen Mrs. Catlin? There is a kid on the bunk under me that has the name Catalan, but is pronounced “Catlin”.
I’m going to try to see Norm tomorrow. We must stamp our clothes for tomorrow’s (Sat.) inspection. I’m tired & it is showing. I still will likely have 8 weeks after I come back from my 2 wks. vacation. Tell Bob & Esther “Hello” and that I saw
both of their cars at the shop when I passed on the train.
We’ve been doing some work with an M-1 rifle, but no shooting as yet. The weather has been misty, cloudy and damp, & I don’t care much for it. I must memorize the ten General Orders which are :
1.) To take charge of this fort and all gov’t. property in view.
2.) To walk my post in a military manner keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
3.) To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
4.) To repeat all calls from posts more distant than my own.
5.) To quit my post only when properly relieved.
6.) To receive, obey and pass on to the sentinel who relieves me, all orders from the Commanding Officers, Officer of the Day, Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of the Guard only.
7.) To talk to no one except in line of duty.
8.) To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
9.) To call the corporal of the guard in any case not covered by instructions.
10.) To salute all officers and all colors and standards not cased.
11.) To be especially watchful at night and during the time for challenging to challenge all persons on or near my post, and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
(The pen keeps pooping out)
Is my car running yet? The most talk around here is about the Volkswagen. That’s what I’d still like.
We get up at 5:00 A.M. and go to bed at 10:00 P.M.
We are really kept on jump so I’ll likely only write once a week. (Likely Sat. or Sun.) But, for sure then. Tonite is the last night for Company “K” to be here. (The next barracks) Some are shipping out for far East, some to Europe, some to school. Please tell everyone hello and that I’ll write to them soon. This place isn’t too bad, but the 12 different calisthenics ranging from various jumps to the 8-count push up is hardest for me. The non-commissioned officers are the best of the bunch.
Lots of Love